There is a beautiful line between realism and abstraction that the Impressionists explored and pioneered. The forms in their paintings are still recognizable as a forest, a meadow, a farmhouse, etc. However, finely rendered details were not as important as the sensation of wind or light, the experience of being exactly in that moment.
The work of Impressionists and Post-Impressionists are perfectly versatile and can blend into a more classic home or a more modern home, and just about any décor in-between! Here are five paintings created during this revolutionary period in art history that would make for an elegant and tasteful addition to your home:
1. Poppies at Argenteuil by Claude Monet
Claude Monet is known as the founder of Impressionism and always painted en plein air, or on location, chasing the light with his paintbrush. In this painting, a vividly red splash of poppies seems to move in a gentle breeze. The position of the poppies seems uncertain. To many viewers, they appear to quiver.
2. Sea and Cliff by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Renoir's paintings are notable for their vibrant light and saturated color. The glowing colors of this landscape are a signature of Renior, who intuitively suffused his subjects with just the right colors to make them sing with life! In characteristic Impressionist style, Renoir suggested the details of a scene through freely brushed touches of color.
3. Dancers in Pink and Green by Edgar Degas
Nothing is quite so elegant as a painting portraying the graceful art of ballet. With his eye for hard realism, Degas obsessively studied and captured the movement and glamour of the ballerinas of France's belle epoch, or 'Beautiful Era.' Degas rejected the label of ‘Impressionist,’ not aligning with his contemporaries who primarily studies landscapes. His scenes of Parisian life, spontaneous composition, experiments with color and form, and friendship with several key Impressionist artists all relate him intimately to the Impressionist movement. His signature off kilter compositions are reminiscent of photography, a technology that was gaining popularity at the time and changing the way people thought of art in a major way.
4. Sous-Bois (Under the Trees) by Paul Cezanne
A sophisticated composition, Sous bois (pronounced sue bwah) is a French term meaning undergrowth or forest floor, the same as the wine term. It is a grand but intimate point of view, slightly abstracted to tickle the imagination. Though Cezanne is not as recognized as names such as Monet or Van Gogh or da Vinci, Cezanne is a famous French painter known as the Father of Modernism.
Although he was an artist of the Modernist Art Era, Cross was known as a master of Neo-Impressionism. He weaves and layers his daring colors in separate brushstrokes, building his paint surface like a glowing tapestry. His sense of colors are in tune with today's joyful decor aesthetic.